Senator Nancy Binay asked health and local officials to explore the possibility of converting sports facilities into quarantine centers for persons under investigation (PUIs) for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“While waiting for test results, and as long as strict protocols are followed and bio-security precautions are in place, I believe sports complexes like the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) in Manila can be an option than having PUIs sent back to their homes,” Binay said in a statement.
BInay said the newly-restored sports complex — which houses the 8,000-seat capacity Rizal Memorial Coliseum, dormitories, an open-air track, baseball and football fields, tennis and other indoor sports facilities — can also be among the better options to decongest PUIs in hospitals which have already gone over their bed capacities.
She said without any intervention to decongest hospitals and provide alternative half-way centers, the situation will worsen in three to four months when PUIs may peak to thousands based on projections of the Department of Health (DOH).
“It is for the best interest that there should be interventions made to isolate PUIs or PUMs (persons under monitoring) from the rest of the population. Having a controlled quarantine facility also ensures that local government units (LGUs) can achieve minimal community transmissions, thereby ensuring the public’s health and safety,” Binay said.
She said sports complexes or small hotels in the provinces may also be evaluated for use as evacuation and community quarantine facilities for patients positively tested for Covid-19,
“Of course, biosafety issues and risks must be considered at all times. But we also needed to be proactive and come up with strategies that will stem the spread of the coronavirus, and do our share in defeating an invisible enemy,” she said.
She said provincial governments can also follow the lead of Albay where a hotel in Tabaco City was re-purposed as a quarantine center for Covid-19 cases, much like with other LGUs which also dedicated half-way quarantine facilities in their respective areas.
“We need a preemptive response — and having a controlled clearing house ensures the public that the government is on top of the situation,” Binay said. (PNA)